Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bailing Out The S.S. Georgie*

I don't necessarily agree with Barry Hussein's Bailout Bonanza, but I can at least get the arguments.

Bank bailouts--I get it. We can't let our banking system collapse.
Automaker bailouts--I get it a little less than the banks, but they do provide a buttload of American jobs.

But newspaper bailouts? I don't get it at all. At least the banks and automakers still have a type of product that people want and need. Do we really need to spend still more taxpayer money to preserve paper copies in the era of 24/7 news channels and the interweb? Why don't we just bail out Tower Records and the vinyl record industry while we're at it?

*If you don't get the title, watch the TV movie version of IT.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness 2009

It's that time again--the only time of year that I watch basketball, the NCAA tournament. (I refuse to call it the "men's tournament" because the only women's sport I watch is beach volleyball.) For the record, I'm predicting Pitt to win it all over Louisville, with Memphis and UNC rounding out the Final 4. My big first-round upset predictions are Maryland over California (UMD is up 3 at the half as I write this), Mississippi State over Washington, VCU over UCLA, and the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky taking out the Fightin' Illini.

It's just too bad the NCAA's new and "improved" video player sucks so bad. Just a few of the new "features" include:

  • Gigantic advertising banners that take up approximately 1/3 of the available viewing room in fullscreen mode. That's not fullscreen, you greedy scumbags. That's 2/3 screen. And just to add insult to injury...
  • The inability to switch games during commercial breaks. Why would I want to check out the near-upset of #2 Memphis during the commercial break of the also-close LSU vs. Butler game?
  • Underestimation of bandwidth. Apparently they've failed to realize that 90% of the audience will be watching the daytime games on our superfast work connections and therefore we'll all want the high-quality feed. I actually want to see the shots go in, not hang in midair while the word "Buffering" and the Wheel of Waiting sit on my screen.
  • Microsoft Silverlight. If your computer had balls, Silverlight would be the steel-toed boot slamming into them. I'm not a Microsoft-basher (in fact, I'm a Microsoft-basher-basher), but in this case, I've got to call a spade a spade.
I suspect 99% of these problems would be solved if the NCAA would follow baseball's lead and ditch Silverlight in favor of Adobe Flash (or just stick with good old Windows Media Player. Really, was that so bad?) Better luck next year, hoops fans.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I don't read the news and stress about the economy. No, I just find more and more other things to worry about. Just a few:

  • I've already posted my fears about Europe's Large Hadron Collider, or as I call it, the Doomsday Device. Now I find out that there's a similar gizmo right here in the U.S. The race is see who can cause the Apocalypse first.
  • I can't go out to eat anymore. At least not to a lot of the places I used to go. Not since my local paper introduced me to a searchable database of health code violations. I'm reasonable with it--it's not going to steer me away from my favorite cheesesteak place just because they caught one of the cooks smoking too close to the kitchen door. But I'm sure as hell never going back to the Chinese place that got written up because the staff was handling the food with piss-hands!
  • This is my ultimate fear. This is the reason that I've never had the organ donor label on my drivers license. I saw an episode of Law & Order similar to this when I was younger, and had it removed the very next time my license was renewed. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for organ donation, and my family will donate my organs, but they know to keep it to themselves until they're satisfied that I'm completely dead. In my worst moments, I imagine my organs being harvested while I'm conscious (similar to locked-in syndrome).